Tuesday, December 05, 2017

The Bruce Meyers built fiberglass kids bed shaped like a McLaren Can Am race car

Made of thick fiberglass, with four-spoke mags and racing slicks, it looked like a McLaren M6 Can-Am racer – wide, voluptuous, and impossibly low. But in place of niceties like the front intake, cockpit, and engine, it had a broad cutout the size and shape of a coffin. Also, it unbolted in the middle lengthwise. Workers hauled it into the house, one piece at a time

Meyers decided to try making furniture. "I did another thing called the Night Racer," he says, "a little bed that looks like a McLaren racecar."

When asked the origin story on this outlier item, Meyers said that, "It just popped up as an idea. I sold some of them for a while – I doubt that we made over one or two hundred – but it didn't save the company.


Bruce Meyers is more than just the inventor of the Manx, of course. He grew up in the Great Depression. His mother was the inspiration for the song, “Five-foot-two, Eyes of Blue…” His father was a riding mechanic at Indy and later a businessman who was wiped out by the crash of the stock market.

Meyers himself went from surfer to avid sailor. When the war came, he wound up as a gunner on the aircraft carrier Bunker Hill. After that ship was hit by two kamikazes, he found himself floating in the same blue Pacific in which he used to frolic as a youth, except that now it was on fire. Since he had spent a good part of his life in the ocean already and was pretty comfortable there, he willingly gave his life jacket to a panicked sailor and hauled a wounded officer through patches of burning oil to safety. So add war hero to his resume.

He spent a postwar stint in the South Seas, living in Tahiti and running a trading post on a coral atoll. When he returned home, he helped pioneer the use of fiberglass to shape sailboats for Cal Yachts and surfboards. Then he set the record for the fastest trip from Tijuana to La Paz in his Manx


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